China Open: Ace shuttler Sindhu enters pre-quarters, Saina loses
Olympic and world championship silver-medallist PV Sindhu today progressed to the pre-quarterfinals but Saina Nehwal had a narrow loss at the $1mn China Open World Tour Super 1000 tournament in Changzhou. Sindhu, who had clinched the China Open title in 2016, defeated World No. 39 Saena Kawakami of Japan 21-15, 21-13 in the opening round at the Olympic Sports Center Xincheng Gymnasium. Here's more.
However, two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Saina, who was the first Indian to win the China title in 2014, lost 22-20, 8-21, 14-21 to Korea's Sung Ji Hyun in a 48-minute opener. Meanwhile, men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy defeated Chinese Taipei's Liao Min Chun and Su Ching-Heng 13-21, 21-13, 21-12 in 39 minutes to enter the second round.
Coming back to the Sindhu-Saena match, it started out as a close contest where Sindhu kept dominating rallies and pocketed the opening game without much trouble. In the second game, she zoomed to a 6-0 lead but Saena managed to make it 8-10 before Sindhu entered the interval with an 11-9 lead. After the break, Sindhu grabbed eight match points and sealed it comfortably.